Housing Secretary Ben Carson said because non-white workers at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort “love him,” that proves the president is not a racist.
“He’s a man who is deeply driven by a sense of kindness and compassion,” Carson said. “You know, talking to the people who drive the cars and park the cars at Mar-a-Lago, they love him — the people who wash the dishes — because he’s kind and compassionate.”
Carson made the remarks while introducing Trump on Friday at the Opportunity Now Summit in North Carolina. The president was there to speak about a tax incentives program meant to spur investments in underserved areas, which were designated Opportunity Zones by the 2017 tax cut bill.
Carson continued his praise of the president, touting Trump’s inclusiveness: “When he bought Mar-a-Lago, he was the one who fought for Jews and blacks to be included in the clubs that were trying to exclude them,” Carson said.
The secretary added, “You know, people say he’s a racist, he is not a racist.”
According to Politico, Carson strayed from his prepared speech while making the remarks.
When Trump took to the podium, he spoke about the program, saying, “Tremendous amounts of money are being put into areas that haven’t seen money for decades and decades.”
But according to Democratic congresswoman from Charlotte Alma Adams, Trump is a “gentrifier-in-chief.” And, she said, his administration’s Opportunity Zone program makes the “rich richer at the expense of our neighborhood.”
Trump then shifted his attention to the 2020 campaign, saying that black voters “have been with the Democrats for 100 years and they treat you badly, and they only come around before an election, and then they say ‘bye-bye,’ and they’re gone.”
The president then turned to a refrain he used almost four years ago asking black voters to vote for him because “What the hell do you have to lose?”
In 2016, Trump received 18 percent of the non-white vote, according to exit polls, and a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll showed “more than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country. Nine in 10 disapprove of his job performance overall.”
With that, it appears as though Carson needs to do a lot more convincing.